Did you know that every 11 seconds an elderly person is seen in the emergency room for a fall related injury? In September we acknowledge Fall Prevention Awareness Day. At Patrick Fettinger, DPM, we know that the health and welfare of your feet can play a big role in preventing dangerous falls. Below are five ways to ensure that you and the older adults in your life do all that they can to minimize their fall risk.
- Get Foot Problems Checked Out Promptly—When your feet hurt, you change the way you walk to avoid the pain. This, in turn, throws off your balance and can cause you to fall. Don’t put off getting pain, numbness, fatigue and other uncomfortable lower extremity symptoms evaluated by our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger. Make an appointment at our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office so the foot doctor can determine the source of your symptoms and prescribe the correct treatment to alleviate foot pain.
- Buy Quality Shoes that Fit Properly—Shoes have a lifespan. Stretched out material, tears around the toes and worn-down treads are tripping hazards. Invest in shoes that are well-made and be sure to get your feet professionally measured. Shoe size can change as you get older. Shoes that are too small or too big can both cause a fall.
- Don’t Miss an Eye Appointment—Getting your eyes checked regularly and making sure your eyeglass prescription is current will go a long way to making sure you clearly see the path and objects in front of you. Changes in peripheral vision and depth of field can make it difficult to properly judge stairs and other differences in elevation.
- Review Medications Regularly—Certain medications may interact with one another in a way that can make you feel dizzy, light-headed or drowsy. This increases your risk of falling. Be sure to go over your complete medication list with one of your doctors or your pharmacist.
- Fall-Proof Your Home—remove tripping hazards from pathways in your home. This would include electrical cords, magazine racks, stacks of papers and planters. Install grab rails in the shower and near the toilet. Make sure there is adequate lighting inside and outside your home.
If you are a senior citizen or someone who cares for an older person and have questions about podiatric health issues, contact us today.